50 years ago, three brave astronauts, with the support of all of America, hurtled through outer space toward the moon. Everyone knows that one small step led to a giant leap for mankind.
But did you know that lasers were an important part of it all? One of the most important missions on the moon was to install a giant mirror, so that scientists from Earth could bounce a special laser off it and measure EXACTLY how far the moon was. Since we know the exact speed of light, scientists measured how long it took the laser light to make a round trip from the moon and back to find the distance. Now, fifty years later, scientists are still using that lunar mirror for laser experiments!
Lasers were a technology less than a decade old at the time. But the Lunar Laser Ranging experiments that the moon landing made possible are still ongoing and continuing to shed light on Earth’s satellite. Prismatic Magic’s Laser Science Teachers will continue to illuminate the importance of lasers in space science for students in elementary schools and middle schools throughout the country.